Ground broken for rowing centre
Ground was officially broken Thursday afternoon for the Henley Rowing Centre, a new $7 million rowing facility that will be located at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course.
Having hosted regional, provincial, national and international competitions for more than 100 years, the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course is one of Niagara’s premier sporting venues. In an effort to ensure that Niagara remains a premier destination for rowing and to support the continued development of the region’s many rowers, the Niagara Host Society will build a new rowing centre in order to address the need for essential off-water training and support facilities at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course.
“Henley Rowing Centre is a key community legacy project that will be built as a result of Niagara hosting the 2022 Canada Summer Games,” said Doug Hamilton, Chair of the Niagara Host Society. “This development at the Henley Rowing Course in St. Catharines will not only benefit our rowing community, but it will also further enable Niagara to continue to host major national and international championships, such as the 2024 World Rowing Championships.”
Hamilton feels the centre is long overdue.
“This is a wonderful rowing course from the water side,” he said. “From the land side, it needs some work. It has great boat houses to store the boats but it really doesn’t have anything else. It doesn’t have accessible washrooms or showers, it doesn’t have good training facilities. This will add to that, and to be able to continue to host regattas, you need these kind of facilities.
“They run a really tight ship here and they do it without facilities. Imagine what they’ll do when they get proper facilities.”
Hamilton was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by a small number of guests including St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle, St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens, St. Catharines mayor Walter Sendzik, and Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley.
“I am proud to join our partners from the federal and provincial government, as well as the Niagara Host Society, to celebrate this landmark groundbreaking at the Henley Island facility,” Bradley said. “This project is both an example of how we are showcasing the best we have to offer to the nation, as well as an important legacy from the Games that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come. I am eager to cut the ribbon on this important project and welcome Canada to our beautiful region in 2022.”
“The Canada Summer Games will be a transformational opportunity for our community, leaving a legacy for generations to come,” he said. “The new Henley Rowing Centre will not only be home to the Games in 2022, but will also serve our rowing community well into the future, building on the world-class sports tourism experience St. Catharines offers.”
The Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course and the new Henley Rowing Centre will be the site of the rowing competition for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, which are set to take place from Aug. 6-21, 2022. The new facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
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